Hour of Code, ESSA news, and more!

Hour of Code, ESSA news, and more!

Edited By Ashli Black @mythagon

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Online Professional Development Sessions

How do we develop sustained growth in teacher practice in a department? One way is to design a system of teacher learning based on student artifacts. Join Geoff Krall (@emergentmath) as he shares experiences and models of student work analysis that lead to better instructional choices and departmental coherence. The conference starts at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific. Click here to join!

Last week, Dylan Kane, Jessica Bogie, and Lisa Henry presented on Twitter Math Camp: History and 2016 Preview. Whether you’re interested in making the trip to Minnesota, or just want to learn more about Twitter Math Camp, check out the recording here if you missed the presentation.

Things to Check Out

The Hour of Math…wait, Code! The Hour of Code!




Last week was marked on the educational calendar as computer science week. If you are not hip to coding in the classroom please go now to code.org, but then come back!


Now that you’re an expert at coding in the classroom you may be wondering, “What if I don’t have 30 devices for each student to become the next Mark Zuckerberg?” Well, they’ve thought of that too. Thinkersmith in partnership with code.org has devises a litany of “unplugged” coding activities for the device-less to also become programming wizards.  coding.JPG


Also Brian Aspinall has posted numerous activities to his blog about “unplugged” coding, here and here. Luckily for us coding shouldn’t just be limited to just one week during the school year. Code.org has a beyond the hour of code, which consists of courses and activities meant for what they refer to as ages 8-108.


For you geometry teachers, code.org also has something called Artist, where students explore geometry through coding.


Happy Coding!

written by Andrew Gael (@bkdidact)

Exploring the MathTwitterBlogosphere


In January, Jon Orr will be a mentor to help support math teachers new to this online community known as the Math Twitter Blogosphere. In his recent blog post, Jon says,


Following this weird #MTBOS hashtag on twitter has changed my teaching practice in so many ways. The people are amazing and always willing to share a lesson or strategy…


His post shares a glimpse of why he’s excited to mentor other teachers and how his collaboration with other teachers has benefited his students and teaching. Whether you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution or a way to deposit some good karma coins in your math teacher bank, join this initiative as a mentor or someone to be mentored.

Why say no, when it will feel so good to say yes? Exploring the MathTwitterBlogosphere.


written by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)

What the ESSA?

I still remember hearing teachers talk about “Nickel-B” when I first got into the classroom in the aughts and being ever so confused. When I finally asked and had bits of NCLB explained to me, I was still confused as it seemed far removed from my little classroom world. Over the years the talk of teacher preparation and student testing as they are affected by NCLB became more relevant to my students and my profession. This go around I’m trying to do some reading up on the latest ACT and figured I would share the goods as the holiday’s are coming and there is nothing like family asking about headline education bills to spice up the dinner conversation. (note: this is totally true in my family since at the dinner table there are 4 teachers with a combined classroom experience of over 70 years.)

One place to start is over at NCTM where Diane Briars posted on the signing. This article sticks to the positive and gets into an overview of the act and the bits that NCTM supported. This is definitely not the whole picture, so let’s dig deeper.

The official site for ESSA is here and it has fact sheets, the actual text if you feel like some policy reading, and quotes from remarks made about the act.

The folks over at The Atlantic seem lukewarm about the act, noting “in reality, schools may not see much on-the-ground change”.

Lastly, this article from the Washington Post on ‘The disturbing provisions about teacher preparation in No Child Left Behind rewrite‘ hit my Facebook page and email several times and is an interesting look from a professor at the University of Washington at bits of ESSA not about student testing.

Hopefully these will get you started and give you some things to think about and chat with others about.

written by Ashli Black (@mythagon)

Global Math Department Needs Your Help!

The Global Math Department is looking for individuals who are interested in planning the Tuesday night webinars hosted on Big Marker. GMD bookers contact potential speakers regarding speaking opportunities, and provide them with details on planning sessions. If you are interested in being more involved with the Global Math Department, contact Heather at heather.m.kohn@gmail.com or Dylan at dkane47@gmail.com.

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